Learning From Latin “Comentaristas”

God designed me to feel indifferent about sports. But something has happened to me. I can’t seem to pull myself away from watching La Copa Mundial on Univision. Spanglishly speaking, I blame the comentaristas.

I admit that the logistics of futbol escape me, but it doesn’t matter. When my team scores—¡Viva México! Go USA!—when they make a goal, my soul bursts into song along with the comentarista. ¡Gooooooolllll!
An endless voice from heaven expresses every ounce of hope I have for victory. Gooooooolllll! Y otra vez! ¡Gooooooolllll! 
Leave it to the critic to point out the “what if’s” in sports, but a Latin comentarista will show you what's in front of you, as if to say, look at this, ¡miren! Winning or losing, after every goal, el comentarista focuses on the play, then the player, the team, and finally the coach. 
I think every believer who has experienced the highs and lows in their sports arena of life knows what negative criticism does. As God’s children we need to encourage and help each other press on, even when we feel defeat. Here’s why: 
God is satisfied. No matter what happens, nothing we do changes the fact that God is satisfied. Christ’s death has paid for the sins of humanity, once and for always (Hebrews 2:14–18).
His grace is sufficient for all. Grace enables us to press on even in dire circumstances. God’s grace is there to pick us up, to give us hope, to heal all injuries and to strengthen us (2 Corinthians 12:9).
His love endures forever. God’s Word reminds us at least 41 times that His love endures para siempre. His unconditional love does not change. What a great reminder especially for the days when we feel like giving up (Psalm 100:5, Romans 8:38–39).
God’s ways are good. Eugene Peterson offers this wonderful paraphrase of Psalm 18:30, “What a God! His road stretches straight and smooth. Every God–direction is road-tested. Everyone who runs toward Him makes it.” 
We have victory in Christ. Through faith, we identify with Christ and enjoy the power over sin that He Himself won (Romans 6:10). Christ’s work on the cross wins release from sin’s power for every Christian united with Him by faith (1 Corinthians 15:57-58).
Futbol reminds me of the craziness of life. Sometimes I play with great determination. Other days, the hard days, I can barely keep up. It’s difficult to listen to encouragement when I’ve messed up. It’s especially hard when I know I could have done things differently. 
But God wants us to hear His voice. He wants us to accept His promises and remember that as far as He’s concerned, we scored the ultimate goal. Through Christ we have victory, ¡Ya ganamos!
What do you do when you feel defeated in life? What encourages you?

Raquel Wroten (MAMC, Dallas Theological Seminary) was born in McAllen, Texas but has lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth area most of her life. Raised by a single mother, Raquel grew up knowing the meaning of diversity, creativity, and chaos through her four brothers and three sisters. The greatest gift she ever received came from her mother who taught her that living as a believer doesn’t mean perfection, it means grace. Raquel met her husband Rick at a church retreat in Oklahoma on a cold November weekend. They dated for a year and got married in June 1992. A couple of years later, Rick graduated with his ThM, and they welcomed Joshua. . .then Abby. . .and surprise, it’s Anna! Intermixing their cultures, the Wrotens have established a variety of traditions along with interesting combinations of food. Raquel believes that ministry begins at home so she finds new ways of serving those she calls her own. Raquel serves as editor of DTS Magazine and enjoys writing (in English, Spanish and Spanglish), cooking, coffee, education and serving up a feast for her friends and family.